Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh’

Milepost Zero

January 28, 2022

I happened to see this milepost on the CSX Pittsburgh Subdivision in June 2011 during a railfanning trip to Pittsburgh with Peter Bowler. We were walking over a bridge from the Station Square complex seeking viewpoints from which to make photographs of passing trains.

It turns out milepost zero marks the beginning or end, depending on your perspective, of the original Pittsburgh & Lake Erie, which opened in January 1879 between Pittsburgh and Youngstown.

Station Square was at one point the P&LE’s passenger station. Some Baltimore & Ohio through passenger trains used the P&LE through Pittsburgh rather than the B&O’s own line, because using the P&LE was faster.

The P&LE later expanded southeastward to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, via the building of the Pittsburgh, McKeesport & Youghiogheny. Consequently, the other side of this marker is milepost zero for the Pittsburgh-Connellsville line.

The Capitol Limited Returns to Akron

August 27, 2021
The CSX office car special passes through Akron Thursday morning.
Rattling the diamonds at Center Street in Youngstown
At Station Square in Pittsburgh. The Capitol Limited of the Baltimore & Ohio used to stop here.
I got cloud skunked just as the train passed the Pittsburgh skyline

Thursday morning CSX ran its ofice car special across northern Ohio and Pennsylvania.

With two F40PHs and 11 passenger cars all decked out in a Baltimore & Ohio inspired livery it looked like the Capitol Limited had returned once again.

I first caught the special at Akron.  The weather was foggy and overcast but my photos turned out okay.

Next was Youngstown where the weather wasn’t any better but I was interviewed by a local TV station curious as to why all the railfans were waiting on the Center Street bridge.

Then it was on to Station Square in Pittsburgh.  The weather was much improved but we unfortunately were cloud skunked when the train arrived.

In times past the Capitol would have made a stop here.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Pittsburgh Amtrak Station Elevator Out of Service

July 22, 2021

The elevator at the Amtrak station is out of service through Oct. 1.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said a new elevator is being installed with work having started on July 14.

Until October passengers will reach boarding platforms via stairways inside the station.

Passengers needing assistance in reaching the boarding area are urged to contact a customer service representative at the ticket office.

Pa. Transit Agencies to Increase Capacity

May 19, 2021

Public transit agencies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are increasing the capacity of trains and buses at the end of this month.

Pittsburgh’s Port Authority of Allegheny County said it will increase light rail and bus capacity on May 31 and lift all limits on June 20.

Limits will rise from 25 to 35 at the end of May. “What we’ve heard is some businesses may be starting to have workers come back to their offices,” a Port Authority spokesman said. “We want to be prepared for that when it occurs.”

The Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will lift capacity limits on its trains and buses on June 1.

In a statement the agency said removing vehicle capacity limits to meet increased ridership demand is a major step in the region’s recovery.

The statement said that a mask requirement will remain in place.

Pittsburgh Transit Agency Eyes Car Replacement

March 9, 2021

A plan to replace aging light rail vehicles on Port Authority of Allegheny County rail lines in Pittsburgh is expected is take up five to eight years to complete.

The agency said recently the planning process to prepare specifications for new cars is expected to take nine months.

Replacement of the cars is projected to cost between $400 million to $500 million.

The Port Authority wants to replace its 53 Siemens-built cars that date to the opening of the light rail system in the mid-1980s.

Among the cars in the overall fleet are 28 cars built by CAF in the 2000s.

Some of the 35-year old cars may be rebuilt rather than replaced.

A Port Authority spokesman said the agency needs to determine which cars could be rebuilt but said some cars have too much wear and tear to make rebuilding feasible.

Pittsburgh Light Rail Line May Reopen

February 28, 2021

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has released a 25-year plan calling for improvements in Pittsburgh’s light rail system by reopening a now-closed rail line.

The plan also envisions reducing service on the lightly used Library line.

Although the Port Authority wants to create a route to the Pittsburgh International Airport the plan did not say what mode of transportation will be used to do that.

The plan also calls for increased service in a number of areas but did not list many specifics.

Carload Express Opens New Pittsburgh Transload Terminal

February 17, 2021

Carload Express has opened a new transload facility in Pittsburgh in Glenwood.

The terminal has a 40-ton-capacity Mi-Jack TravelLift gantry crane for loading and unloading multiple railcars to a truck or to ground storage.

The crane can work a variety of railcar types, including gondolas, regular and bulkhead flatcars, and centerbeam cars.

The Glenwood terminal handles steel products such as plate, bar, rod, structural, pipe and coils; and offers railcar-to-truck transloading of non-ferrous metals, forest products, dimensional loads, ABC Containers, and other building and construction materials and bulk commodities.  

Carload Express is a subsidiary of Allegheny Valley Railroad and interchanges with the Buffalo & Pittsburgh, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Wheeling & Lake Erie.  

Pittsburgh Transit Agency Approves New Labor Pact

January 5, 2021

Pittsburgh’s transit agency has approved a new contract with the union representing its light-rail operators, maintenance and service personnel, administrative employees, and first-level supervisors.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County agreed to give members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 a 2.75 percent wage increases in both years of the contract at a total cost of $7.8 million.

The contract changes the health insurance carrier for retirees who are at least 65 years old, which is expected to save the agency $10 million over the next two years.

The contract extends protections to non-operations employees who are assaulted while on duty, and includes various work rule changes that are expected to save the authority $1 million.

The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2020, and extends through June 30, 2022. The previous four-year contract expired June 30, 2020.

Pittsburgh Transit Workers Reach Tentative New Contract

November 19, 2020

Pittsburgh transit workers have reached a tentative new contract with the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

Officials of the Amalgamated Transit Union declined to release information on contract terms, but said it will cover 2,300 operators, maintenance workers and office staff.

The union’s previous contract with the Port Authority had expired on June 30.

Union members will now vote on the pact and it will then be presented to the Port Authority board.

Earlier statements by the union indicated that a stumbling block in reaching a new contract had been the length of the deal.

The union sought a three-year contract where the Port Authority was demanding a two-year deal with a re-opener for the third year.

The Port Authority had cited falling and uncertain ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ridership on Pittsburgh transit buses and light rail trains had fallen to 80 percent of 2019 levels but has since rebounded to 60 percent below last year.

Pittsburgh Light Rail Facility to get Upgrades

November 4, 2020

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has approved a plan to renovate its light rail maintenance facility in Pittsburgh.

The $11.2 million project will cover work that will take place over a 17-month period to renovate the 35-year-old facility.

The work will focus on maintenance pits, plumbing, and electricity, and be conducted over six phases.

It will include restoring concrete approaches and pits; replacing rails and supports; placing protective coating on the floor; modifying compressed air piping, drainage, and hot-water systems; and improving the electrical system and lighting.